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In a letter to Modi – following a surge in stainless steel imports into India – the assn called on Modi to take two recommendations made by the assn into serious consideration in the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.

The trade body, which represents small-scale operations in the capital region of Delhi, called for a zero customs duty on nickel and melting scrap “as the industry does not have domestic availability of these crucial raw materials”, it said on Tuesday November 25., . 

It also asked the prime minister to raise the customs duty on finished stainless flat products to 15%.

Nickel, steel scrap and stainless steel scrap currently command a 2.5% customs duty in India, while the import duty on flat-rolled stainless steel was increased from 5% to 7.5% in the 2014-2015 budget announced in July this year. 
However, low-priced imports, particularly from China, have seen capacity utilisation in the Indian stainless steel industry fall to 50%, resulting in “huge” revenue and job losses domestically, according to the Delhi assn.

It said that China Now accounts for more than half of all global stainless steel production – up from 5% in 2004 – as a a result of its zero duty on most basic raw materials needed to produce stainless steel. China also has a 10% customs duty on finished products, protecting its own domestic industry.

The Indian government has already taken some steps to support local stainless steelmakers, as it launched a safeguarding investigation into imports of 400-series stainless cold rolled flat steel products in September.

India’s stainless meltshop production reached 2.403 million tonnes in 2013, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum.